US 3648830 A
The attachment has a bottom wall for supporting a vacuum bottle and an upright wall to which a bottle may be releasably strapped. The upright wall has a transverse groove to receive the meeting external ribs of a lunch box of the type usually made of plastic and having an upwardly tapered cover. A strap connected to the upright wall slips removably over the tapered cover above the cover ribs to hold the upright wall of the attachment in position against an end wall of the lunch box.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Graf  LUNCH BOXES WITH CARRIER ATTACHMENTS  Inventor: Edwin H. Grai, W187, S6876, Jewel Crest Drive, Muskego, Wis. 53150  Filed: Oct. 22,1970
 Appl.No.: 83,137
 US. Cl ..206/4, 190/52, 220/23.4, 24 8/31 1  Int. Cl... A450 11/20  Field 01 Search ..190/42, 52, 60; 206/4, 19.5 R, 206/47 R; 220/18, 23.4, 85 R, 85 H; 224/45 Q;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Darrah "206/4 x 1 Mar. 14, 1972 3,347,354 10/1967 West ..206/4 1,090,079 3/1914 Livingston ..224/45 0 UX Primary Examiner.loseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-Steven E. Lipman Attorney-Morse" & Morsell ABSTRACT The attachment has a bottom wall for supporting a vacuum bottle and an upright wall to which a bottle may be releasably strapped. The upright wall has a transverse groove to receive the meeting external ribs of a lunch box of the type usually made of plastic and having an upwardly tapered cover. A strap connected to the upright wall slips removably over the tapered cover above the cover ribs to hold the upright wall of the attachment in position against an end wall of the lunch box.
10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PAIENIEBMAR 14 I972 3.648 830 INVENTOR EDWIN H. GRAF LUNCH BOXES WITII CARRIER ATTACHMENTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an attachment for removably securing a supplemental food or liquid container, usually a vacuum bottle, to an end wall of a conventional lunch box.
2. Description of the Prior Art In my copending application, Ser. No. 876,487, filed Nov. 13, 1969, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,610,409, a vacuum bottle holder is disclosed which includes an upright wall with an integral downtumed flange removably fitted over an end wall of one type of standard lunch box, in a manner whereby the holder is clampingly retained in an external position on the end wall when the box cover is closed. There is another type of lunch box commonly sold, usually molded out of plastic, in which the upper edges of the lower body portion and the lower edges of the cover have surrounding, outwardly-projecting ribs which interfit when the cover is closed. These ribs provide an external projection in a horizontal plane and would make it impossible for the type of holder attachment shown in my copending application to be used, as this attachment requires a lunch box where the cover walls externally overlap the walls of the box. Lunch boxes ordinarily have provision within the interior of the cover for carrying a jug of coffee, but if the user also wishes to take an additional container of soup or other liquid, as frequently occurs, he has to carry it separately, which is cumbersome as well as inconvenient. The present invention is particularly suited for use with the plastic lunch box of the type having outwardly-projecting, horizontal ribs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a carrier attachment' having an outwardly-projecting bottom support and having an upright wall with a transverse groove for receiving the extemally-projecting ribs of a certain type of lunch box when the upright wall is positioned against an end wall of the lunch box, there being means for removably securing the carrier to the lunch box, and there being means for removably securing an extra container such as a vacuum bottle to the carrier.
A further object of theinvention is to provide a holder attachment as above described wherein there is strap means connected to the upright wall of the holder which is engageable over the cover of the lunch box to fit above the externallyprojecting ribs of the cover. 4 v
A further object of the invention is to provide a carrier attachment as above described which can be instantaneously disconnected from the lunch box without unbuckling the strap.
A further object of theinvention is to provide a carrier attachment of the class described in which the securing strap may be connected to the upright wall of the attachment in optional locations depending upon the type of lunch box with which the attachment is used.
A further object of the invention is to-provide a carrier attachment which eliminates the necessity of carryinga lunch box and extra jug separately, as hasheretoforebeen-required.
A further object of the invention is ,to provide an attachment for lunch boxes which can be readily fonned of sheet metal, plastic, -or other low cost material, thereby providing a'device which is relatively inexpensive to manufac ture.
A further object is to provide an attachment which makes a compact combination with a lunch box, fitting closely adjacent an end wall, whereby an auxiliary container which is of substantially the same height and width as the lunch box may be conveniently carried.
Still further objects of the present invention are to provide a novel carrier attachment for lunch boxes which is easy to install and remove, which is durable-and long-lasting, which is reliable in use, and which is otherwise particularly well adapted for its intended purposes.
4 Ill BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the accompanying drawing, illustrating one complete embodiment of the preferred form of the invention, in which the same reference numerals designate the same parts in all of the views:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a ribbed plastic lunch box with the carrier attachment connected thereto, and with a vacuum bottle mounted on said carrier attachment, the broken lines indicating how the strap may be readily removed to disconnect the attachment from the lunch box;
FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of the device of FIG. 1 looking at the right-hand end; i
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the carrier attachment, the lunch box strap being removed and the vacuum bottle strap being broken away;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view showing the carrier attachment in the position of FIG. 1 with the vacuum bottle removed; and
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing the carrier attachment connected to a different type of lunch box, only a fragment of the latter being illustrated, and showing the attaching strap in an optional position'for use on this different type of lunch box.
DESCRIPTION OFVTI-IE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 1-4 of the drawing, there is illustrated a lunch box 10 of the type which is usually made of plastic and which conventionally has an external rib 11 at the lower margin of the cover which meets and interfits with an external rib 12 at the upper margin of the lowerbody portion. The lower body portion includes a generally rectangular bottom 13, front wall 14, a back wall 15, and a pair of end walls 16 and 17. The end walls are approximately parallel to one another. The front and rear walls 14 and 15 converge somewhat downwardly as shown in FIG. 2. The cover 18 has upwardly-converging front and rear walls 19 and 20. The cover is joined to the back wall of the lower body by hinge means 21. Suitable 'coacting latch means 22 are provided on the cover and on the front wall 14 to'pennit the cover to be readily latched in its closed condition An external handle 23 is mounted on top of the cover.
The novel carrier attachment is designated generally by the reference numeral 24 and is shown removed in FIG. 3. It may be formed of metal, plastic, or otherdurable but relatively inexpensive material. The embodiment illustrated includes an outer upright wall portion 25 and anintegral outwardy-pro- :jecting bottom support 26 for supporting a vacuum bottle 27 or the like. The bottom support may have upwardly-projecting tabs 28.at the forward corners to aid in retaining the vacuum bottle.
Intermediate the height of the upright wall 25 a pair of opposed integral arms 29, preferably formed from the stock of the back member, are deflected outwardly in an arc, the spacing-between arms being such that the arms snugly receive and partially surround a conventional jug or vacuum bottle such as the jug 27 of FIG. 1. A slot 30 at the outer end of each arm 29 receives the end of a strap 31, each strap end being looped through the slot and riveted to an adjacent strap portion as shown in FIG. 3. One of the straps may carry a buckle 32 through which the other strap end may be passed to releasably secure the jug in position as in FIG. 1.
In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the outer upright wall portion 25 is connected to and spaced forwardly from an inner upright wall portion 33 which has substantially the same outline as the wall portion 25. The two wall portions are secured to the ends of spacers 34. In addition, the inner upright wall portion 33 has a transverse groove 35 of a width and depth to snugly receive the projecting ribs 11 and 12 at one end of the lunch box in the manner shown in FIGS. -1 and 4. Thus the carrier attachment may be positioned close to the end wall as shown in'FlG. 1. An attaching strap 36, one end of which has a buckle 37, is accommodated in a transverse space 38 formed above the groove 35 and below the topspacers 34.
With this arrangement, when the strap is fastened as in full lines in FIG. 1, it fits around the lower portion of the cover 18 just above the rib 11. This keeps the strap from slipping downwardly on the box. Due to the upwardly-converging relationship of the front and rear walls 19 and 20 of the cover, the carrier attachment may be instantaneously detached without unbuckling the strap 36 by merely slipping the strap upwardly on the cover, as shown by the broken lines in FIG. 1.
Inasmuch as it might be desirable at times to use this carrier attachment with a different type of lunch box, this has been provided for as shown in FIG. 5. Here a standard metal lunch box 110 is illustrated having a lower body portion 114 and having a cover 118. In this type of box the lower edge of the cover overlaps the upper edge of the lower body when the cover is closed, there being no ribs corresponding to the ribs 11 and 12 of FIG. 1. Also, with this type of lunch box the cover is shaped differently. When used with this type of box the strap 36 is shifted from the opening 38 of the holder to the lower transverse opening 39 where it can be positioned just below the middle set of spacers 34. The strap may then be tightened around the upper portion of the lower body of a lunch box of a type shown at 110 in FIG. 5, which box is usually made of metal.
In using the present invention the user may quickly secure the carrier attachment 24 on the end of his lunch box as shown in FIGS. 1 or 5, and may mount an extra jug on the outwardlyprojecting bottom 26 between the curved arms 29. The strap 31 may then be fastened around the jug to removably hold it in position. The lunch box and extra jug can then be readily carried with one hand by use of the handle 23. Inasmuch as most vacuum bottles of this type are approximately the height and width of the lunch box, the result is a relatively compact arrangement.
When the owner desires to use the jug 27 this can be done by pulling it upwardly or by unfastening the strap 31. To open the lunch box it is merely necessary to slip the attaching strap 36 upwardly to the broken line position of FIG. 1 to remove the carrier. Thus the carrier attachment may be readily used or not as the occasion requires.
It is apparent that with the present invention it is unnecessary for the user to carry his lunch box and extra jug separately.
It is to be understood that I do not desire to be limited to the exact details of construction shown and described, for obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art.
What I claim is:
' 1. In combination with a lunch box having an upright wall and having a movable cover, said box being of a type wherein its main body has an upper edge rib and wherein the cover has a lower edge rib interfitting with the rib of the body when the cover is closed, a carrier having an upright wall removably positioned externally adjacent said upright wall of the box and having a transverse groove receiving the interfitting ribs of the body and cover of the lunch box, an auxiliary container, means on the carrier removably supporting said auxiliary container externally of the lunch box and closely adjacent its upright wall, and means removably securing the carrier to the lunch box.
2. A combination as claimed in claim 1 in which the upright wall of the container to which the carrier is attached is an end wall.
3. A combination as claimed in claim 2 in which the means supporting the auxiliary container is a shelf which projects outwardly from the lower portion of the upright wall of the carrier adjacent the level of the bottom of the lunch box.
4. A combination as claimed in claim 3 in which the auxiliary container is of approximately the height of the lunch box when the cover of the latter is closed.
5. A combination as claimed in claim 2 in which the upright wall of the carrier has substantially the same external dimensions as an end wall of the lunch box.
6. A combination as claimed in claim 1 in which there is strap means removably securin the carrier to the lunch box.
7. A combination as claime in claim 1 III which the upright wall of the carrier has a transverse slot above the transverse groove, and in which there is a strap extending through said slot engaging around the cover of the lunch box.
8. A combination as claimed in claim 6 in which the cover of the lunch box is tapered upwardly, and in which the strap means fits removably over said taper to a position above the cover rib.
9. A combination as claimed in claim 1 in which the upright wall of the carrier has spaced-apart inner and outer portions, and in which the transverse groove is formed in said inner portion.
10. A combination as claimed in claim 9 in which the securing means is a strap and in which there is a transverse slot for the strap formed between said inner and outer portions and above the transverse groove.